Mike Schlossberg for State Representative
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About Mike
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Improving Schools and Slowing Property Taxes
Protecting the Vulnerable
A Bipartisan Leader
132nd Legislative District
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IMPROVING SCHOOLS AND SLOWING PROPERTY TAXES
Mike Schlossberg

Letís be as clear as possible: Our schools are suffering. Pennsylvania ranks 46th in the nation in terms of per capital state support for education and dead last in terms of funding equity. These numbers are unacceptable, and must change. That is why I am a strong supporter of increasing our investment in education.

At the same time, Pennsylvania has unacceptably high property taxes, which are devastating to any home owner or renter, and particularly egregious to those on fixed incomes. We must do more to reduce the massive burden of property taxes. What Iíve done:

  • Funding Our Schools: Quite simply, Allentown and Parkland were both devastated by the Corbett cuts of 2010, and almost no Representative has had as much success as I have at restoring funding. Working with Senator Browne, Representative Schweyer and the Governorís administration, Allentown and Parkland have seen a massive infusion of state funding: Allentown School District has received an additional $38 million funding increase (31% increase), while Parkland has seen an additional $5 million (43% increase). That money has allowed for a restoration in art, music and gym in Allentown, as well as an expansion of full-day kindergarten in both Allentown and Parkland.

  • Expanding Property Tax Relief: The only way to really achieve property tax relief is to increase the stateís share of education spending, and that is why I have consistently voted in favor of budgets which have put record investments into the Allentown and Parkland School Districts. At the same time, Iíve voted for legislation which would have increased the rebate in the Property Tax/Rent Rebate, and voted for plans which would have reduced or eliminated property taxes for seniors, disabled adults and veterans.

  • A revolutionary way of putting more kids into Early Childhood Education: Iím the prime sponsor of a new type of funding mechanism that is just starting to capture attention worldwide. Itís called Pay for Success, and it works by getting private investors to put money into an area where multiple studies show that, with early investment, you can reap financial benefits. A prime example of this is Early Childhood Education, and if we can get this funding mechanism up and running in Pennsylvania, we can give tens of thousands of children a high quality education while saving taxpayers millions.

What I believe:

  • Investing in education: Nothing ó absolutely nothing ó is more important than adequately investing in all of our community schools. Pennsylvania has the worst gap between rich and poor school districts in the entire nation, and nowhere is that gap more apparent than in the difference between the Allentown and Parkland School Districts. Allentown lost over 400 teachers since 2010, and this is beyond unacceptable. Without a full reversal of these policies, we are condemning a generation of children to take far more than they give to society and to inadequate lives of poverty and dependency. We must fully fund education. Now.

  • Property Tax Relief: Pennsylvania remains towards the bottom of states in terms of investment in education at the state level, and this is unacceptable. As a result of a lack of funding from the Commonwealth, local property taxes are through the roof, disproportionately hitting high-poverty districts like Allentown. This is one of the many reasons that I fully support additional investment in education at the state level. Doing so will control skyrocketing property tax bills.

  • Reducing our obsession with standardized testing: Pennsylvania, and the United States, relies far too much on standardized testing. Every moment of classroom instruction time spent preparing a student for a test is a moment taken away from real learning. I proudly cosponsored and voted for a moratorium on counting the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement, but I know that more must be done in this area.

  • Expanding Pre-K: Multiple studies make it clear: An investment in pre-K yields incredible dividends later down the line. Thatís why I am a strong advocate for increasing our investment into Pre-K programs like head start. Itís also why Iíve become one of the Commonwealthís leading advocates for Pay For Success programs, a cutting edge finance mechanism which seeks to infuse the Pre-K system with investments from the private sector, leading directly to smarter, healthier children and allowing everyone to profit from the dollars saved as a result of these improvements.

  • Charter School Reform: I support major reforms to the charter and cybercharter system, including legislation which would hold charter and cybercharter schools to the same accountability and transparency standards as public schools. At the same time, there are many high-quality charter schools in the area, and I support efforts to ensure that those schools can succeed.

  • Higher Education: Pennsylvania is one of the national leaders in terms of student debt and student loans. This issue is more than an abstract one to me; my wife and I pay almost as much on our student loans as we do on our mortgage! The student debt crisis is largely funding cuts to higher education. As a result, we are saddling a generation of students with unsustainable debt, damaging their future earnings potential and jeopardizing our economy. We must do everything we can to restore funding cuts to higher education.

Proudly endorsed by the Pennsylvania School Educators Association (PSEA)!

 

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Home | About Mike | Accomplishments | Platform
Improving Schools and Slowing Property Taxes
Protecting the Vulnerable | A Bipartisan Leader
132nd Legislative District
Volunteer | Contributions | Contact

Paid for by Friends of Mike Schlossberg
P.O. Box 1537; Allentown, PA 18105
MichaelSchlossberg@gmail.com

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